Tag Archives: reflection

Art as sermon

7 deadly sins

sloth, gluttony, lust, anger, greed, pride and envy.

I am not an artist, at least not in the traditional sense. What God creates through me would not be considered art by most people (even though I do see my work as artistic). I had the opportunity to visit an art display last week that a friend invited me to. Her work expressed and explored 7 visualizations of the 7 deadly sins. Each display was a creative act in itself and through a range of different mediums created a way for me to have some insights into myself and into these particular problems of humanity. As things sometime work out, my friend popped in to the room while I was viewing the display so I spent some time to talking with her. I expressed to her that what she had ‘created’ was also a sermon. She looked surprised. I asked if she thought her work could be displayed in the front of the congregation at a Sunday gathering as the sermon. She looked puzzled. I pressed further. Do you think the work you have developed is as important as the sermon the Pastor delivers for a Sunday morning?

I envision a community gathered, songs shared, a time of announcements and a time of greeting followed by a prayer. At this point, the congregation is invited into silence and encouraged to walk around the art displayed with a prayerful and examining heart. Maybe some write thoughts on paper. Maybe others gather in another room for a few minutes to pray and reflect their observations. Maybe others sit, reflect, say nothing and listen carefully to God and themselves. Speak Lord, for your servant is listening. We do have different learning styles and we need to be exposed to the variety of ways that God can speak through his people as they (we) create many expressions of his image in us.

How can we make room for the artists in our community to share what they create? How can we find new ways for these voices (and prophetic voices) to be heard and considered? Aren’t leaders responsible for facilitating these opportunities by recognizing the unique gifts God has given his people and their voices that have come to inform us about the kingdom of God?

According to Krissi Carson, “art teaches us to value the creation of God. Not just WHAT was created but the very act of creating. We connect with God as we create. Art connects us with beauty. Art connects us with things that we cannot say – things that are beyond words and beyond our capacity to express in words”.

I suspect I have much to learn from the creative expressions hidden inside creative people. However, I also suspect that it may be my role to begin to think of new ways to facilitate these expressions. God speaks in many ways. His image is revealed through his creation. Speak Lord, for your servants are listening.

 – Keith Wasserman

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Filed under Food for thought, Wrestling with issues of perspective